Chickpea Bhel Salad

by | Feb 14, 2012 | 25 comments

Chickpea Bhel Salad
 
On the streets of Mumbai, especially around a large water body like the curve of a beach or a lake are colourful gypsy like carts selling bhelpuri (bh-ail-poo-ree) and panipuri (p-aa-nee-poo-ree). Bhelpuri is a very popular street snack made up of puffed rice, tomatoes, onions, coriander, very fine noodles called sev, chili, coriander, lemon, black salt and tamarind chutney amongst other things. It is sweet, sour, tangy and totally addictive. The bhelpuri often called bhel, is my inspiration for today's recipe.
 
Chickpea Bhel Salad
 
Instead of puffed rice, I used chickpeas as the base of my recipe. One of the main reasons I chose to go with chickpeas is that I wanted the salad to be crisp and crunchy for a barbecue we were invited to. This salad can be made ahead and it stays fresh even after a good few hours. It tastes great warm or cold. The hefty dose of lime gets the tastebuds going and the protein in the chickpeas thoroughly satisfies. Healthy and perfect as an appetizer or a meal by itself, this salad is easily customised to include more texture, more bite, more greens - you name it! I have made a version of this with kale and almonds and it is as delicious as this one.
 
Chickpea Bhel Salad
 
 

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Chickpea Bhel Salad

 
Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Serves - 4
 

Ingredients

 
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup toasted peanuts
 
bhel dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red chili
1/4 teaspoon black salt 
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
a handful of mint leaves
juice of 1 lime + lime wedges to serve
 

Method

Combine all ingredients except the lime wedges in a large bowl and gently toss to combine and coat. Garnish with lime wedges and serve at a barbecue or on grilled bread with a dollop of tomato chutney.
 

My Notes

It might not always be easy to get your hands on black salt (I usually find it at Indian grocery stores or at organic greengrocers also called kaala namak ), but the addition of it is what makes this salad truly tangy and marvellous. Black salt has a pungent smell and a delightful salty/tangy flavour. It is one of the key ingredients in bhel and other savoury snacks. It is known to be cooling in nature and aids in digestion.
 
If you can't find black salt, you can substitute with pink or regular salt to taste.
 
For a picnic or potluck, you can mix the bhel dressing ingredients and carry the dressing in a small mason jar. Simply mix through with the other ingredients and toss for a lovely fresh sald.
 

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SNEH

I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!

COMMENTS

25 Comments
  1. Rosa

    That salad looks wonderful. Exactly the kind of chickpea dish I like. Great flavors and fabulous clicks!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  2. Lemon

    This salad looks so good, wow. It is the kind of recipe where I have less experience in, and the more I am curious to read about on blogs. Your pictures are stunning.

    Reply
  3. la domestique

    I love this salad and the inspiration behind it!

    Reply
  4. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    I love bhel and this is my favorite kind! Lovely

    Reply
  5. Reem | Simply Reem

    OMG!!!
    I love bhel!!!
    This is what I can eat day n night, day after day....
    Love it... And now totally drooling.

    Reply
  6. ilva

    I'm bookmarking this and will make it soon, I really like the flavours in it!

    Reply
  7. chinmayie @ love food eat

    Love this take on Bhel!

    Reply
  8. thelittleloaf

    What a gorgeous idea. I've got a recipe for chickpeas with cumin dressing but have never paired them with peanuts before. Can imagine the texture contrast is gorgeous. Gorgeous gorgeous photos too 🙂

    Reply
  9. Refa

    this salad looks interesting, so good, I want to try it

    Reply
  10. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    This salad looks so nutritious and delicious! I love chickpeas. Gorgeous photos as always Sneh.

    Reply
  11. anh

    I seriously can eat this salad everyday! Amazing flavours!

    Reply
  12. Eha

    Healthy, filling, appetizing and SO easy to make! I was most thrilled to realize I had all the ingredients right there at home, and would have most of the time! So, what a standby 😀 !

    Reply
  13. Magic of Spice

    What an absolutely delightful salad, and delicious as it looks I am sure 🙂
    Happy Valentines Day!

    Reply
  14. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I always love your props, you have a good eye for interesting pieces, like that coffee bag.

    Reply
  15. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul

    The flavours are so fresh Sneh! Perfect for our summer-ish weather and i love chickpeas!

    Reply
  16. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    I love bhel (street foods!).. So full of flavors and delicious 🙂

    Nice styling, Sneh!!

    Reply
  17. Yummy Morsel

    Love the idea of using chickpea in bhel. Lovely clicks

    Reply
  18. Emily (Adeline & Lumiere)

    Sneh I love these photos! Have you used split toning in Lightroom? I've tried it a few times, most recently on my last post. Anyway, the food, photos and recipe looks great! And by the way, I just added you to my blogroll - yipee, sharing the love!

    Reply
  19. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Healthy and so tasty sounding. I have never tried bhel, but keen to have a go at making some.

    Reply
  20. BerlinLunchbox

    So tasty looking, have also never tried a bhel.
    But I love a good bean salads, so this is totally up my alley!

    Reply
  21. Patricia Scarpin

    It looks delicious and it's so healthy! Perfect to bring to work for lunch.

    Reply
  22. zdravie

    Fab idea, had bhel in bombay LOVED it

    Reply
  23. Sukaina

    Love this Sneh. I'm a huge fan of street food and bhel is my favorite.....I like to add crispy thin sev and some yoghurt to mine though. I fact, we're having a chaat station including bhel at Maryam's party this weekend!

    Reply
  24. Radhika @ Just Home Made

    Sneh,
    I like Chaats of all kinds, especially Bhel without the sweet chutney
    In fact, I make a similar chole bhel salad. It is such a great healthy snack..
    And, Love that second picture!

    Reply
  25. Sara

    Lovely--and congrats on your DMBLGIT win!

    Reply

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